For the first time in years, I got sick for more than a couple days, with a horrible chest cold. Usually I can do some hiking with a cold, but not this chest cold. After over a week of being in bed I decided that I had to get out, and drove to a new trail, one of the ones for the East Bay Parks Trails Challenge 2015. I was making myself go out, my state of mind was all wrong. And I was exhausted, a half mile in and I was also hot and irritated, and my energy was transferring to my dog Chico and he was getting excitable. I should not have gone to a new trail feeling like I did. It made me worry about the location, my car, the lack of people, made my mind race. So I turned around and came home.
A few days later when Friday rolled around, I had major cabin fever. I decided that even though I was still tired and i still had a cough I’d make another go of it. This time I went to The Nimitz Trail in Tilden and Wildcat Canyon, an easy trail that I know well. In my mind I was happy with the beautiful drive to inspiration point staging area, and would be happy if I could only go a 1/2 mile to the first spectacular vista and sit there for a bit. I ended up doing 7 miles with Chico that day, and prob could have done more if I wasn’t going to rain. It is amazing what a difference the right presence of mind can be while out on the trail, and how it affects our bodies as well.
Bonus! I also got my layering completely right from the start! The Nimitz Trail is a ridge line trail can be quite windy in many spots. It was going to be about 50 to 60 degrees, so I just wore a lightweight base layer, and my mid weight jacket, which is usually good for the average wind I experience…but 10 steps out of my car the wind was so fierce that I threw on my windbreaker as well, knowing that it would be even worse on the trail. A mile in and the wind sounded like an ominous roaring turbine engine! I never heard that before! It sounded like winter to me, if that makes sense:)
Of course there were people running by me in shorts, but I wasn’t walking fast enough to generate that kind of heat…and when I got to the Wildcat Canyon portion of the Nimitz the wind was even crazier–people were turning around after just a few feet into that section. I was never cold, and was really comfortable, for a second on my way back, I thought maybe it wasn’t even chilly out…but then I had some of my water and it was Ice cold.
It was fun watching Chico react to the wind, at the first strong roaring gust he stopped, and looked at me and sat down, I started to laugh, and he got up and started moving again. I wish I got a photo of his face…but I did get these photos with Mule Ear Sunflowers–I think–I’ve been reading Wildflowers of California: A Month-by-Month Guide–but at this point in my education it seems like so many flowers might be so many different things! I sat here the other night and thought I identified them all, but now as of this posting I am not sure. Most study more:)
There are grazing gates on Nimitz Way, and you can see cows in Wildcat Canyon grazing where the Missile site used to be, as well as behind some wire fences in Tilden.
There are several loop options or short in and outs that you can take off of the Nimitz Trail. But some of them go into Tilden’s Nature Area which doesn’t allow Dogs. I think next time I’m going to explore Conlon Trail or explore Wildcat Peak.
And just one more photo 🙂 I previously wrote about Nimitz Way Trail with some better details, if you want to check that out 🙂